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Make it an inclusive dandiya festival in these ways

The nine days of Navratri are about worshipping the nine incarnations of the goddess, fasting, rituals and ceremonies. They are also a celebration of life and everything that adds meaning to it such as love of family, friends, music and dance. The festivity should therefore be inclusive and open for everyone and this can be made possible by making the celebration venues accessible for everyone.

Dandiya Dance & Garba Dance are traditional dances and are performed during the nine days of Navratri celebrations.

This year we can make the festivities open for all by making the Garba venues accessible for people with disabilities. Some basic considerations can be used to make the festivities inclusive.

"Happiness depends on what you give, NOT on what you get." as quoted by Mahatma Gandhi. Festivals are celebrated to share happiness and it is our moral duty to share it and bring smile to them who are special in many ways. #CelebrateFestivalWithPWDs," says Avinash Dugar, Founder, CEO at La Gravitea

Here are a few simple ideas that can be used to have inclusive Dandiya Dance & Garba Dance.

  1. The venue can be made accessible for people with disabilities with the use of ramps.

  2. The entrance should be wide and comfortable to get in for wheelchair users.

  3. Presence of a few volunteers at the entrance can make it easier for disabled people to reach the venue.

  4. The music should not sound harsh and should be played at a volume that does not disturb people with sound sensitivity issues.

  5. People can also bring earphones to block excessive noises.

  6. The use of strobe or flashing lights can be avoided for people with epilepsy.

  7. Sign language interpreter ate venue can guide the deaf people that want to enjoy the dance.

  8. Refreshments and snacks should have gluten free options for children and adults with gluten allergies.

Inclusion is important for everyone, and in every context and situation possible. And popular festivals like Navratri, Diwali, Christmas, etc. are great opportunities to foster inclusion. For us, inclusion means both getting special needs people a chance to be involved in the larger world and also getting everyone else (so called "normal" people) integrated with the special needs community. Gopinath Ramakrishnan, parent, member of SCAN

Everyone can be invited to make the celebrations open for all and even more fun. So what are you waiting for, get ready to rock the Garba and have fun!

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